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The El Paso Community Foundation Collection - Aboard the USS Hancock

El Paso Community Foundation

Silent | 1960s

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  •  Karl O. Wyler, a media businessman from El Paso 
  •  John Phelan, a radio and television sportscaster at El Paso’s KTSM 
  •  Aboard the USS Hancock, on active duty at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Launched in January 1944, the USS Hancock was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. Elvis Presley’s appearance on the Milton Berle Show on April 3, 1956, was shot and broadcast live aboard the ship.  
  •  Military aircraft, including Douglas A-1 Skyraiders, prepare for takeoff 
  •  Geared up for a helicopter ride 
  •  A submarine descends into the ocean 
  •  Shore excursion 
  •  National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu 
  •  Waikiki Beach and the International Market Place 
  •  Training exercises 
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In this home movie from the 1960s, El Paso media industry personalities Karl O. Wyler and John Phelan enjoy a trip to Hawaii. The men—both World War II veterans—mark the occasion with an adventure aboard the USS Hancock stationed at Pearl Harbor and a visit to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Later, Wyler and Phelan stop by the International Market Place in Waikiki and watch military training exercises.
Sportscaster John Phelan was born on January 13, 1921. After sustaining a serious injury during World War II, he was sent to the burn ward at William Beaumont Hospital in El Paso for plastic surgery and treatment. During his recovery, Phelan began taking classes at the College of Mines (now known as the University of Texas at El Paso), majoring in journalism and radio broadcasting. 
In February 1946, Phelan began working in the news department at KTSM. Staying with the station for more than 40 years, he became one of El Paso’s most admired sports personalities. In addition to his many years as a sportscaster on both radio and television, Phelan also served as the general manager of the El Paso Texans, a local professional baseball club, and helped start the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame.
Phelan died on November 11, 1994, at the age of 73.